New Delhi: The trend for India from four years ago at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) may continue at Gold Coast 2018, with wrestling and shooting expected to be the chief source of gold in India’s medals tally.
The wrestlers and shooters finished No. 1 and 2 winning five and four gold medals, respectively, in Glasgow to contribute to India’s 15 gold and 64 total medals (30 silver, 19 bronze).
In two-time Olympics medal-winner Sushil Kumar (75kg), 2014 CWG medallists Vinesh Phogat (50k) and Babita Kumari (53kg) and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, India boast of a powerful wrestling contingent, which also includes gold-medal hopeful Bajrang Punia (65kg).
If the likes of Somveer Kadian (86kg), Sumit (125kg) and Kiran (76kg) can punch above their weight, the Indian wrestlers could be in for their richest ever gold-haul at the Games.
Shooting’s chief hopes for a finish in the centre of the podium rest with Jitu Rai (50m Free Pistol and 10m Air Pistol), Apurvi Chandela (10m Air Rifle), Heena Sidhu (25m Sports Pistol, 10m Air Pistol), Manu Bhaker (10m Air Pistol) and Gagan Narang (50m Rifle Prone).
But the likes of Sanjeev Rajput ( 50m Rifle 3 Position), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (trap), Kynan Chenai (trap), Tejaswini Sawant (50m Rifle 3 Position and 50m Rifle Prone), Chain Singh (50m Rifle 3 Position and 50m Rifle Prone) and Annuraj Singh (25m Sports Pistol) are all gold medal material on their day.
The boxers may consider themselves unlucky having not been able to convert any of their four silver and a bronze to gold in Glasgow four years ago. The squad will hope that legend Mary Kom (48kg), Sarita Devi (60kg) as well as Vikas Krishan (75kg) and Manoj Kumar (69kg) can lead the charge and change the trend in Australia.
A lot of hopes will be attached to Indian shuttlers who could manage just one gold (Parupalli Kashyap in men’s singles) besides a silver and a couple of bronze medals in 2014. But since then, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have made major strides in their respective careers, while Saina Nehwal has managed to fix her brittle fitness. Also in the fray for gold will be India’s in-for mixed team pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy.
The men’s hockey team will like to turn the tables on hosts Australia, who beat them in the final of the last two editions of the CWG in 2010 and 2014. Having said that, the Sjoerd Marijne-coached team is looking good to reach the gold-medal match this time as well.
Would be sitting at home if I think like people from outside: Kohli
Mumbai: Virat Kohli said he would be “sitting at home if he thinks like people from outside”, responding, in his trademark combative style, to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him, but without taking the former opener’s name.
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, recently said that in a result-oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.
Asked about it, the batting maestro said, “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.
According to Gambhir, one can’t say Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same breath, as India’s current captain has not won the IPL even once in comparison to his predecessor’s three. Gambhir also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too have three IPL titles to his credit.
“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.
“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.
The Indian captain was speaking on the eve of the IPL 12 opener between his team and Chennai Super Kings.
To a question if he felt RCB were the underdogs against CSK at home, he said every team that comes here has to be considered so, with the home team being led by Dhoni.
“MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top.
“It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”Kohli also said RCB’s focus this year would be on being consistent and scratching their way to wins.
“It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job.
“In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side,” Kohli said.
AIFF deny I-League clubs’ request to reschedule qualifiers
Mumbai: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has denied the I-League clubs’ request to restart the 2019 Super Cup, Goal can confirm.
Nine I-League clubs had earlier informed the Indian FA that they are willing to take part in the Super Cup 2019 after AIFF president Praful Patel reached out to the clubs on Thursday and assured them that he will hold a meeting with them in mid-April.
After initially deciding to withdraw from the competition citing AIFF’s unfair treatment towards the clubs, the I-League clubs’ unison expressed their willingness to take part in the knock-out competition if all the clubs are allowed to take part.
However, as Goal reported earlier, matches given as walkovers cannot be replayed according to the regulations of the national cup competition. The AIFF has made it clear to the clubs that the regulations must be adhered to and that it would be unfair towards the opposing teams – Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC – that took the field for the matches which did not take place.
Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala FC and Aizawl FC failed to turn up for their Super Cup qualifiers on March 15 and March 16.
Due to the I-League clubs’ absence on the match days, the AIFF awarded Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC wins by virtue of walkovers.
Neymar charged for ‘insulting’ referee in Man United defeat
London: Paris St Germain forward Neymar has been charged for “insulting and/or molesting” the referee following his post-game rant after the French side were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester United, UEFA said.
Neymar, who was sidelined by injury, was investigated for lashing out and labelling the video assistant referee (VAR) system a “disgrace” after United won a controversial penalty in the dying stages to advance on away goals.
“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United FC (1-3), played on 6 March in France,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Player Neymar Junior – insulting / molesting acts against match official (statements made by the player following the above-mentioned match) – Art. 15 (1) (d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”
If the Brazilian is found guilty, he could be suspended for three matches in the competition for insulting match officials.
UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will look into the case and a date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel had said after the game that he understood Neymar’s anger and defended his comments, saying they were made in the heat of the moment.